S Tel To Invest Rs 700 Cr On 3G Services In Himachal, Bihar, Orissa & Jharkhand

Shimla:To roll out 3G services, S Tel, the youngest telecom operator which win the bids for Himachal Pradesh along with Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Bihar in the recently concluded open bidding today announced investment plans of Rs 700 for starting the value added service.

The company intends to raise Rs 338 crores through a 1:1 debt to equity ratio towards license fee payment for the three circles of Bihar & Jharkhand, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh, said P Swaminathan, Director S Tel and president Siva Group which has a majority stake in the company.

The debt is already tied up with Indian nationalized banks via a bridge loan and the company is set to meet the timelines stipulated by department of telecommunication. S Tel is the only new operator to have bid consistently and won 3G spectrum at a high success rate, leading to acquisition of licenses in all three circles of its current operations, he said.

Commenting on the acquisition of the licenses, Shamik Das, Chief Executive Officer, S Tel said “Strategically, our investment in 3G spectrum is targeted at being ready for all future services. Our network is compliant with third generation standards and we are well geared to keep pace with the adoption of this technology.”

For customers 3G would mean, he added, “This technology will enable high-speed data transfer and enhance the user experience with bandwidth heavy services such as live video streaming and many other graphic formats.”

About future investment plans, Das said, “S Tel will invest approx Rs. 360 crores in capital expenditure over the next five years to roll out 3G services in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh.”

In November 2009, S Tel achieved financial closure for its Rs. 2000 crore telecom project and was the first amongst the new operators to do so.

On entry S Tel’s joined the tariff competition and pioneered ‘Bulk Minutes’ concept wherein the operator offered first of its kind daily, monthly and yearly bulk minutes plans for low, mid and high users.

To improve connectivity in existing areas of operation S Tel by end of 2010, S Tel would deploy another 2000 sites across Bihar, Orissa and Himachal Pradesh. The company also plans to launch operations in Assam and North East shortly.

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